SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc will not accept political ads that seek to claim victory before the results of the 2020 U.S. election are declared, a company spokesman tweeted on Wednesday.
The move expands the company’s plans, announced earlier this month, to stop accepting new political ads in the week before the election. At the time, Facebook said political advertisers could resume creating new ads after Election Day.
Democrats have warned of a “red mirage” on election night, citing expected delays in counting a record number of mail-in ballots this year, and raised concerns that President Donald Trump could use Facebook to convince people he had won.
Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has articulated similar concerns about confusion likely to follow the election if results are not immediately clear.
In his announcement last month, he said Facebook was planning to append labels to posts that try to declare victory prematurely or deligitimize the outcome of the election.
The company will consider election results “declared” once they are announced via Reuters and the National Election Pool, which have partnered with Facebook to supply live election results, the spokesman, Andy Stone, said in a subsequent tweet.
Election officials have taken issue with that approach, noting that counting ballots can often take weeks even in normal election years, without the added pressures of the coronavirus pandemic.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a question about whether the new rule would apply to all elections set to take place on Nov. 3 or only the U.S. presidential election.
(Reporting by Katie Paul; Editing by Chris Reese and Jonathan Oatis)